The Brain + Beauty Connection Plus 5 Ways to Support Skin and Stress
No matter how you slice it, skin and stress are connected.
For starters, did you know your brain and skin originated from the “ectoderm” when you were just an embryo? Yep, your brain and skin formed from the same beginnings.
It only makes sense, then, that your emotions are stored in your muscles. Whether it’s facial muscles, neck, shoulders, backs, or hips, we all know that bottled-up stress causes stiffness.
Or consider when you’re feeling embarrassed – rosy cheeks, anyone?
Our skin reacts to our environment – internal and external.
It’s the great skin and stress connection.
The same is true with the state of your skin – skin and stress are connected. The amount of stress living in your body will directly reflect on your skin. And with the holidays feeling hectic, it’s important to prioritize stress-relieving practices.
Bonus: stress-relieving practices boost your skin’s glow in the process. ;)
In fact, our bodies even “shut off” nutrient supply to the skin during times of stress since our skin is not considered a vital organ for survival.
Here’s the good news, though: learning how to manage your stress will benefit your mind and skin. It all comes back to the skin and stress connection. That’s why Traditional Chinese Medicine often uses methods like facial massage, stillness, and stress-relieving rituals to move stress out of your body.
Real talk: It’s impossible to live a completely stress-free life. But you can do your part in supporting both skin and stress. How?
By choosing relaxing, energizing, and rejuvenating stress-relieving activities. So today, we’ve rounded up five of our tried and true methods for supporting the innate skin and stress connection.
1. Choose Movement
Remember how your muscles hold on to stored emotion? Simple movement is a surefire way to reconnect your mind + body and support the skin and stress connection.
But remember: movement doesn’t always have to be intense physical activity.
A Harvard study showed movements as simple as stretching or changing positions positively impact your mental health.1
→ Spend time outdoors in nature with a simple lakeside walk or a low-impact hike. Or try out the art of forest bathing.
→ If you’re busy with young ones and a full plate, you might be on the move a lot already! But an easy way to find more movement: set a timer for 20 minutes and clean your bathroom during naptime. Movement is movement, no matter what you’re doing. And hygiene benefits your skin and stress too. Win-win.
→ If you like to work up a good sweat (with the added bonus of releasing toxins!), maybe hot yoga is more your speed.
→ Swimming is an excellent choice if you’re expecting and/or need a low-impact + safe exercise.
→ Dance! Take a dance break mid-day to your favorite song. Dance is proven to help regulate emotions, relieve stress, and improve mood.2
However you decide to move, movement is healing for your body. Stagnant emotions will be released – you’ll feel rejuvenated, and energized. Your skin and stress levels will both thank you for the time well spent.
2. Practice Meditation
Ah, the age-old practice of meditation. We know how much meditation is capable of relieving mental stress and anxiety. But have you ever considered how meditation might have a positive impact on your skin AND stress – all in one?
Stress comes in different forms for everyone – maybe your stress presents as a cloudy mind.
Meditation helps you tune into subconscious thoughts. It helps you identify feelings that may be causing you stress and find clarity.
Meditation deactivates the aging and inflammation gene in our skin.3 Impressive, right? That’s why people who have meditated for years look younger than they actually are.
Beyond its youth-promoting abilities, meditation has the power to reconnect you to your inner voice.
Ever feel like you wake up one day and feel disconnected from who you are and your purpose? Stress can cause you to lose your guiding inner voice of wisdom and comfort.
Meditation taps back into your inner sense of calm and positivity, the truths that warmly guide you back home.
Not only does meditation reconnect you to your purpose, but it also renews your perspective on life. When stress is consuming you, it’s easy to lose perspective and feel hopeless. It's common to become self-consumed or harbor negativity. Meditation resets your perspective from a new + positive place of love, acceptance, and gratefulness.
One of the best (and most important) parts of meditation practice is learning to be more present in your life.
Leaning on the principle of self-health, we feel confident that meditation will also give you a better quality of life by gifting you the sweetest reward: showing up fully for your life. You’ll be more present + lean into more of what you love – also gaining time with those you love. These are all just beautiful side effects of supporting your skin and stress connection. And it’s free. ;)
Meditation has a plethora of untold benefits for skin and stress. Not only will it give you a confident peace of mind, but it will also enable you to age gracefully. Let’s embrace aging in a way that simultaneously relieves skin and stress. What are you waiting for?
3. Indulge in a Massage
Good news! “Massage” doesn’t have to be an expensive hour-long professional massage (though, definitely treat yourself when you can!). To reap the benefits of skin and stress relief, a massage can be as simple as a few minutes of your daily skincare routine.
Touch is deeply restorative for skin and stress levels.
Skin benefits include:
- Improving lymphatic drainage
- Better nutrient flow to the skin to improve skin inflammation
- Moving hormonal toxic build-up out of the body (buccal massage, anyone?)
Stress benefits include:
- Activating the parasympathetic nervous system, creating an overall sense of calm and well-being4
- Alleviating depressive symptoms5
- Improving cognitive function4
And if you’re not a massage lover, you don’t have to indulge in a full-body massage to restore your skin and stress levels. As skincare enthusiasts, of course, we’re partial to facial massages – both at home and in-spa.
→ Try a professional holistic facial treatment. Choose one with an emphasis on massage to strengthen skin and stress relief.
→ At-home tools like gua sha, facial rollers, or your hands work great too.
No matter what type of massage you choose, the impacts on skin and stress are priceless. It’s one of the best stress-relief activities that soothe skin and stress simultaneously.
4. Phone a Friend
If you’ve ever gone through a hard time or an exciting time, you know it’s just better to share the experience with a friend. It’s a free, comforting, and accessible way to alleviate stress. And, as we know, skin and stress have a direct connection. So maybe the answer to that inflamed/irritated skin is simply more intentional convos with your best friend. ;)
Relationships and connections help us not feel so isolated or lonely during difficult times. Staying in touch with friends helps you stay grounded and connected – to yourself and others.
Friends are meant to celebrate with us, carry burdens with us, and ultimately help us become a better version of ourselves. So don’t be scared to reach out.
Of course, reaching out to someone can feel vulnerable at times. But the support from a loved one can be the very thing that can help you recover from stress the most. Bonus points if it’s a best friend since there are proven benefits behind having their support.6
Skin and stress are intricately linked, so call up your bestie. Less stress = better skin. ;)
5. Diffuse Essential Oils
The power of aromatherapy has been around since the beginning of time. There’s a reason the smell of your mom’s favorite recipe immediately lifts your spirits. Or why you ONLY use lavender oil for your nightly bath.
And like all these stress-relieving activities, diffusing essential oils supports your skin and stress connection. It prioritizes the state of your mental and emotional well-being, which in turn encourages your skin to heal + thrive.
We know plants hold the power to improve mental and emotional health.7 So it’s no wonder that essential oils, often taken from plants and herbs, are also miracle workers for your skin and stress.
So surround yourself with soothing + grounding scents whenever you can.
→ If you work from home, keep a diffuser close by (or enjoy the benefits of essential oils through your favorite PP essential oil candle).
→ Set a diffuser by your nightstand as you sleep.
→ Keep our PP Room Sprays on hand (specifically our winter home line if you want to bring forest bathing benefits inside).
→ Light palo santo incense in your space for an immediate mood shift.
No matter how you enjoy your aromatherapy, or what scents make you feel most at ease, embrace the power of nature’s scents. You won’t regret it.
Skin and Stress: Support Your Skin, Mind, and Body With These Stress-Relieving Activities
In today’s society, living a completely stress-free lifestyle isn’t possible. But that’s okay. Stress is a normal part of life and a protective mechanism your body creates to keep you aware + healthy. Without it, we might easily go overboard and send our bodies into shock or overwhelm.
So the goal here is to manage (not eliminate) your response to stressors and triggers – in both skin and stress. When you balance your responses, you’re able to bounce back quicker. So take some of that pressure off yourself – you’re doing your best!
But beyond these stress-relieving activities we’ve covered, there are so many options available to you. Play around and see what feels best for relieving your stress. Everyone has different ways to alleviate skin and stress responses.
When you learn what works to support your skin and stress connection, you’ll notice clearer skin, graceful aging, and less inflammation.
So take some stress off your plate, you deserve it – so does your skin.
- Harvard Health Publishing | How Simply Moving Benefits Your Mental Health
- Good Therapy | Dance/Movement Therapy
- EOC Institute | Look Younger: How Meditation Slows Skin Aging, Reduces Wrinkles, & More
- Institute for Integrative Healthcare | How Massage Benefits Your Brain
- National Library of Medicine | Treatment Effects of Massage Therapy in Depressed People: A Meta-Analysis
- APA PsycNet | The Presence of a Best Friend Buffers the Effects of Negative Experiences
- Psychology Today | 11 Ways Plants Enhance Your Mental and Emotional Health
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